As I write this post winds and hailstorms are battering outside, which is ironic, because I want to write about celebrating sunshine and spring.
I've made no secret of the fact that I'm a fan of winter. I like the crisp, cold air of a July morning. The crunch of frost underfoot. My hands wrapped around a freshly-brewed cup of tea. Slippers, hot-water-bottles, cats on laps and snuggles with babies.
But I've also said it before and I'm saying it again: this year, I am determined to welcome the warmer weather with a positive attitude. Normally, the onset of a mild spring day has me all-a-dither about summer looming, and, "Oh no if it's hot in September, January is going to be HORRIBLE."
Not this time. I hereby declare that this is the year summer and I make friends. I will open my arms to the sting of hot sun on my skin, burning away the weariness and black mornings and endless winter viruses. I will re-plant my vegetable garden and let the summer sun and rain warm the soil into something that nurtures growth and life. I will make this a season of salads and seafood and fresh, wholesome summer on the inside of me as well as the back yard. And if it all gets too much, I will thank the gods that I now live in a house with air conditioning.
To celebrate my new friendship with summer, I made up a batch of little "sunshine packets" filled with organic sunflower seeds, to send to blog subscribers. I hope they will plant them and enjoy some glorious bursts of perspiration-free "summer" in their gardens or in pots.
Instead of the usual brown paper, I slipped these packets into cheerful yellow envelopes to make them even more summery, before I painted on the pictures and addresses. Here's what they looked like.